Men Are Always Wrong

That is the message sent by so many of the sit-coms involving a married couple with a family. The two that come to mind are: “Everybody Loves Raymond,” and “Home Improvement.” Now, you might say, “But Home Improvement is all about ‘tool-man Taylor’. He’s a macho, manly-man.” But if you’ve ever watched it, who is the one always “groveling” to his wife, going to “Wilson” for advice, making mistakes with the children, and apologizing to everyone? Yep! Tim Taylor. Same is true for “Everybody Loves Raymond.” The man is always wrong. I can’t think of one episode where he was not made out to be the bumbling idiot. (Some might argue that that is his own fault because he acts like a bumbling idiot) The point is, shows like this annoy me.

Sometimes I listen to Dr. Laura on the radio after Rush Limbaugh when I am going to visit shut-ins. What can I say? It keeps me awake. Dr. Laura, for all of her faults and errors, is pretty good on applying natural law to sticky situations. I don’t always agree with her advice, but I do respect her opinions on feminism. Today she was talking about this characteristic of feminism–that the man is always wrong. Tonight I was watching reruns of Home Improvement on Satellite and that message came out loud and clear! The man is always wrong. I would love to see a show that was fair toward both sexes, poking fun at the faults and foibles of both husbands and wives, men and women. Even the Cosby show in the eighties had this fault about it–did you ever see Clair Huxtable make a mistake?

Perhaps some would say, “You may not like the shows, but they reflect the reality of marriages today.” Of course, a show where the husband was a loving, thoughtful protector of the wife and family and where the wife was the one who always seemed to miss the mark would never sell.

My $.02.


About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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8 Responses to Men Are Always Wrong

  1. Scott says:

    Hey Pastor, since the writers are on strike, turn that thing off!


    Funny, I just blogged about tv yesterday.

  2. Chris Jones says:

    It wasn’t always that way, Fr Beisel. I know I am showing my age, but when I was a child there were several comedies on television that portrayed the man of the house in a sympathetic and supportive light. Sometimes Dad screwed up in those shows, but not always; and his wife and children always loved and respected him.

    Among the many programs of that era that were like that were Leave It To Beaver, The Donna Reed Show, and Ozzie And Harriet. But the show that was the very opposite of the tendency you are talking about was the one that says it right in the title of the show: Father Knows Best.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Paul–I totally agree! Also, the commercials portray men as stupid and the smart and savvy woman is in the background. It is predictable on almost every commercial.
    Sometimes I wonder what effect the dumbing down of the American man, parents taking away toy guns from little boys, etc. is going to have on America in the future, vs. other countries.?

  4. Pastor Beisel says:

    My question is how much of it is simply reflecting the weak-man culture we live in, and how much of our culture is influenced by these sit-coms?

    Rachel–you’re right. The commercials do this too. Men are bumbling idiots who never do anything right, and must always apologize for their behavior. Whereas women are paragons of virtue, never have anything for which to apologize, and are superior to men. That is the caricature of men that is portrayed in these shows and on tv in general. As I said–even that great family show “The Cosby Show.”

  5. Scott says:

    My question is how much of it is simply reflecting the weak-man culture we live in, and how much of our culture is influenced by these sit-coms?

    It’s like a snake eating it’s own tail.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Another interesting point is that when these sitcoms DO show the wife being the one who was in the wrong (and they occasionally do), the wife is extremely resistent to admit she was wrong and the “hilarity” is centered around the woman being too stubborn to apologize or admit her fault.

  7. Rev. Eric J Brown says:

    Part of this issue is that in terms of plot and story telling for a comedy, it has to be the hero who makes mistakes – the ups and downs have to belong to the main character. Otherwise you have a foil – there are times when the non-main characters may have done something foolish – but the point is to produce an reaction in the main character (think on the Cosby Show – if Clare does something it is designed to provoke Bill’s reaction, or the kids in Home Improvement to provoke Tim’s reaction).

    Also – it’s not just the dads who mess up – you watch shows that are aimed at kids and all the parents, moms and dads, don’t get it. But there, they are constant foils to the main characters (the kids).

    Chris Jones makes reference to leave it to Beaver – who always makes the mistakes there – Beaver and the rest of the kids – because it is a show about them.

    The main character is the one who makes the mistakes – that’s what makes a comedy a comedy. If it’s not the main character making the mistakes, it’s not going to be a comedy.

    If it’s a gal who is the main character in a comedy, she’ll be the one making mistakes – Lucy in I love Lucy, Cybil Shepherd in both moonlighting and Cybil – Reba in her show. . . this is the burden of being a main character.

  8. A Simple Sinner says:

    Rev. Eric, not so fast!

    There is room for comedic hijinx with potential for much hilarity in watching main characters suffer the indignity of clueless contemporaries running about them like chickens without heads. Scrubs comes to mind.

    Pastor B has a point that I noted 10 years ago when I quit watching TV on a regular basis – so much tripe and much of it rather pointed with agenda-like purpose. “Father knows worst” is a recuring leit motiv.

    Us menfolk seem pretty dumb. To be sure, I can be… But all of us?

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